WOOF! Newsletter

June 30, 2014

Where IT Hardware is Made and Why It’s Important

Where do your computers come from? Your servers? Wireless? Where a piece of hardware is made, and who makes it, is more important to your business' operations and security than you might think.
Where did your computers come from?

It seems like a simple question. But the reality is anything but – thanks to the globalization of IT, manufacturing has moved into varied locations the world over.

“Does it really matter?” you might wonder. Yes, it does. In fact, more and more of our customers are asking us to procure IT hardware that is Made in America.

Buying IT hardware made offshore contributes to America’s economic stagnation, causes higher levels of pollution, supports unfair labor practices, and can pose risks to your network security. Depending on which manufacturer makes your computers – and where it’s done – you could end up with:
In this month's WOOF! we’re sharing a list of major PC, server, network hardware, tablet and phone manufacturers and their manufacturing locations. If you want to buy American, then this is the list you need.

Where Computers, Servers, Tablets and Phones are Manufactured

First, the table lists major IT hardware manufacturers by the type of hardware they make. “Network Hardware” covers all necessary hardware to build & run a network – routers, switches, wireless access points, etc.

Second, the countries where these manufacturers maintain manufacturing facilities. The company names contain links to their websites if you’d like to verify this information yourself. We’re also including links after the list to further resources.


Network Hardware
Super Micro

  1. Acer: China, Taiwan, USA
  2. Alcatel-Lucent: Australia, Belgium, France, Italy, Japan, Thailand, USA
  3. Apple/Foxconn: China, Singapore, Taiwan, USA
  4. Asus: Czech Republic, China, Mexico, Taiwan
  5. Broadcom: China, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, UK, USA
  6. Brocade: China, India, USA
  7. Cisco: China, Mexico, Russia
  8. D-Link: China, Taiwan
  9. Dell: Brazil, China, India, Ireland, Malaysia, Poland, USA
  10. Ericsson: Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Sweden, USA
  11. Extreme: USA, Outsources to Alpha Networks in part, which has locations in China, Taiwan, USA
  12. Fujitsu: China, Germany, Japan, UK
  13. HP: China, Mexico, USA
  14. Huawei: Canada, China, Colombia, Germany, India, Ireland, Pakistan, Russia, Sweden, Turkey, UK, USA
  15. IBM: Mexico, USA
  16. Intel: China, Costa Rica, Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, USA
  17. Juniper: China, Hong Kong, India, USA
  18. Lenovo: China, Japan, USA
  19. LG: Brazil, China, Mexico, Poland, South Korea, Turkey
  20. Microsoft/Nokia: Finland, China
  21. NEC: China, Japan, USA
  22. Riverbed: India, Israel, New Zealand, South Korea, USA
  23. Samsung: China, Germany, South Korea, USA
  24. Sony: China, France, Hungary, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand
  25. Super Micro: Netherlands, Taiwan, USA
  26. Toshiba: China, Germany, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, USA
  27. ZTE: China
(NOTE: This list may be incomplete – some manufacturers don’t list all their facilities publicly.)

Additional Resources:
List of Computer System Manufacturers (With HQ Country Noted) - Wikipedia
Network Hardware Vendors - Wikipedia
ProductFrom.com - Where Things are Manufactured (Lists By Company)

Many of the above names do have USA listed among their manufacturing locations. That’s often because the manufacturers maintain assembly plants in the U.S. Components are manufactured overseas & shipped to the U.S. for final assembly.

Why Knowing Manufacturing Locations is Important

The reason knowing the location matters is because, depending on where a computer is manufactured, the hardware can expose you to several serious risks. Using American-made hardware almost completely avoids these risks, and you can support local industries at the same time.

These are the risks of using overseas-made IT hardware, and the benefits you derive from using American-made hardware:

1. IT Security
—When you make a device, you have control over what goes into it. Many devices coming from overseas have been found with exploits and backdoors built in.
Most devices are perfectly safe to use in networks; backdoors are usually found in only one product line among many available. The problem is, until a backdoor is publicly identified, no one knows it's corrupted. If you have one such device operating in your network, it can quietly steal data during your workday.

If you are serious about protecting your data from theft & your network from takeover, it pays to examine where your hardware comes from.

2. More Environmentally Friendly—Computers and servers coming from overseas require large inventory purchases and high freight charges to ship here. Buying local means shorter lead times for delivery and less energy consumption to create & deliver. American materials used in production create the least amount of pollution due to U.S. manufacturing regulations & short shipping channels.

3. Fair Labor Practices—By buying U.S. made hardware, you are supporting businesses who operate under U.S. labor laws that protect workers and provide living wages and benefits. Employees in other countries aren’t so lucky. By purchasing hardware made offshore, you are creating the demand that fuels unfair labor practices in countries where employees are not as protected. In addition, while support locations are not always tied to manufacturing locations, some manufacturers have responded to criticism and reshored their support operations, such as Dell did in the mid-2000s.

4. Support for Reshoring—American businesses & employees pay federal and state income and sales taxes, which benefit our local and national economies. It also helps to rebuild the skilled IT workforce reduced due to offshoring over the past 20 years, battling unemployment and even protecting our country’s IT infrastructure.

5. Support for Nearshoring—Manufacturers like IBM who have plants in Mexico are able to take advantage of nearby labor, while helping a neighboring country’s economy and shortening the delivery supply chain considerably from overseas.

Which Manufacturers Do Make IT Hardware in America?

It's a cold hard fact: Very few hardware systems are manufactured in the U.S. anymore. But that’s changing. In the past few years, manufacturing operations have grown from a few manufacturers “reshoring” back to the U.S., or “nearshoring” operations to nearby countries like Mexico.
  1. In June 2013, Lenovo launched a new production facility in North Carolina. The facility makes Thinkpad laptops for the American market.
  2. Last November, Apple announced plans for manufacturing facilities in Arizona and Texas.
  3. IBM recently sold its x86 server series to Lenovo. But it maintains facilities in Mexico and New York for making the Power Series, PureSystem, PureFlex and X Series servers.
  4. HP manufactures servers in Texas, and PCs in Indiana.
The only manufacturers who could really claim the “Made in America” label are:
For Servers – HP, IBM (for Power Series, PureSystem, PureFlex and X Series servers), Super Micro
For Computers – Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo

Ask Where Your IT Hardware Comes From Before Your Next Order

WOOF! is intended to educate our customers about IT. The security of your IT is paramount to running your business. Most of us will never have to deal with a cyberattack or corporate espionage. But you’re always better off avoiding any such possibility at all.

Believe it or not, the hardware you choose makes a difference.

PlanetMagpie is here to assist in choosing IT hardware, or evaluating existing hardware in your network. If you have questions about IT hardware manufacturing, please send them to woof@planetmagpie.com.

Article Cited in the Reshoring Initiative Blog for July 15, 2014:
Reshoring IT Hardware Leads to TCO Cost Savings and Risk Avoidance